This Day in Geek History: February 7
The Academician magazine is first published in New York City. It will become the first successful educational magazine in the U.S.
The first wireless message sent from a moving train to a station is transmitted, marking the beginning of the era of mobile communications.
The Neutron subatomic particle is first described in an article in the journal Nature by James Chadwick, who coined the name after he discovered it by bombarding Beryllium with alpha particles. In 1935, Chadwick will receive the Nobel Prize for Physics for the discovery.
Doug Ross of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) presents a paper on gestalt programming at the Western Joint Computer Conference in Los Angeles, California. Ross had experimented with gestalt programming while working for the U.S. Air Force and Emerson Electric Company. Read more about Doug Ross at Boston.com.
In response to the launch of Sputnik, the United States Department of Defense issues directive 5105.15 establishing the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). The directive charges the agency with the “direction or performance of such advanced projects in the field of research and development…” Among ARPA’s highest priorities is the development of computer technology. The agency will be at responsible for the developing ARPANET, the predecessor of the Internet. Visit the official DARPA website.
File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is introduced as a standard for the transfer of files between networked computers.
Space Shuttle Challenger astronauts Bruce McCandless II and Robert L. Stewart make the first untethered space walk using the jet-propelled Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU). (STS-41-B) McCandless, the first human Earth-orbiting satellite, ventures out 320 feet from the orbiter during the initial test of the MMU. Visit the mission’s official website.
The Los Angeles City Attorney’s office drops the case against Sysop Tom Tcimpidis for lack of evidence and in the “interests of justice.” Tom Tcimpidis had previously had his system seized for a posting of a pactel card code without the sysop’s knowledge.
The Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Lower Decks” first airs. (No. 715) In it, several of the ship’s junior officers vie for the next big promotion, but the one choosen is asked to undertake a dangerous mission into Cardassian space. Memory Alpha entry
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